Ruin and Rising is the third book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. This book put me through the wringer due to what happened in it. I was not expecting it to end the way it did, and I was kind of disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading this book but was expecting something else to happen at the end. After reading Leigh Bardugo’s interview at the end of this book, I know why she ended the way it did, but I still can be disappointed. I still love you, Leigh Bardugo, and look forward to reading the Six of Crows books next. 

Storyline/My Thoughts: First, if you have not read these books, then I would recommend not reading this review. I’m going to try not to write spoilers, but I may end up mentioning something from the previous books.

This book picks up where the last book left off. I could have dealt without the Apparat, who drove me crazy on how he treated Alina and her team at the beginning of this book. Apparat was someone who could double-cross you at any moment, and if he did it to the King and the Darkling, he could’ve done it to Alina.

I’ve stated it above, but I was disappointed with how this book ended. I was also disappointed that the Darkling only got a few moments in this book, just like the previous book. Yes, I’m one of those readers who loves a villain, and I was hoping he would get reformed somehow. He will always be one of my favorite villains. (I highly recommend reading his prequel when he was a kid and finding out what happened to him.)

I also was disappointed with what happened to Alina at the end of everything. I know she gets a HEA with the one she truly loves, though, and who is there for her along the way, but I still was hoping for a different HEA. I felt the person she ended up with was not the right character. There was also a twist in this story that I was not expecting when Alina and her team looked for the third amplifier. Be prepared if you do read this to be in shock. I was in shock and had to read a few times to understand what was happening. Leigh Bardugo knows how to keep the reader on the edge of her seat with anticipation and shock.

What did I like about this book? The constant knowing what Alina, Mal, Nikolai, Tamar, etc., were going to come in contact with next when it came to battle. They went through a lot in this book. Leigh Bardugo did not make it easy. There are going to be deaths in this book that will be hard to get through. I know a couple that bothered me. I loved the constant banter in this book, too, between Alina and Nikolai. These two were great friends.

I grew to love other characters in this book, and I can’t wait to read more about them in King of Scars and Rules of Wolves. Yes, it’s dealing with Prince Nikolai. He’s one I fell hard for, too, in the book. I didn’t like what happened to him either, but I know Leigh Bardugo will give a HEA (eventually). He deserves it.

Although I was disappointed with this book, I still can find myself wanting to re-read it again in the future. I’m looking forward more than ever to read other books in the Grishaverse. I know Leigh Bardugo will be one author; I will continue to buy her books, no matter what she writes, because her stories are addicting.

Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and I highly recommend reading in order. It’s also part of the Grishaverse series by Leigh Bardugo, too.

Cliffhanger: No.

HEA: Yes. Somewhat of a HEA for Alina. (Not the kind of HEA I was looking for though.)

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you are a fan of Young Adult Fantasy, then I recommend this trilogy to you. I’m so glad I read these books before the Shadow and Bone series releases on April 23rd. Now, I can’t wait for the show. (Although I need to read the Six of Crows Duology before then, too.)

Please, keep an open mind when reading this trilogy because if you fall for a particular character like I did, you’ll be upset about what happens in the ending.

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